Saturday, February 28, 2009

Knitting? Are You Kidding Me????

This has been one of those days where it has paid to have a sense of humor.  Sometimes you just need to chuckle or you will suddenly be overwhelmed with the need to repeatedly bash your head against the nearest solid surface or tell the local biker gang that their leather vests make them look all sissified.  

It's better to find your inner third grader and make a few fart jokes.  Trust me.  

I woke up in the wee hours today following a somewhat detailed dream about gigantic spiders taking over the earth.  That, in and of itself, isn't all that unusual.  I do not care for spiders and would not be surprised one little bit if they suddenly grew to epic proportions and then trapped me in my home.  I probably would have just gone back to sleep had it not been for the other little problem that manifested itself:  

The excruciating pain in my right shoulder and (to a lesser degree) side.  

There is no reason to help me out with this one or try to educate me any further on the matter.  I know what this means.  And the health care plans are being adjusted accordingly.  I have gone from zero to full-on "Monkey Pox" in a shorter time than I thought.  And I am not happy about it.  It hurts.  A lot.

I was able to get back to sleep for a bit, though.  That was good since I had to be present and with a pencil at the ready for my scoring duties at this year's Maine Academic Decathlon.  I've assisted and/or worked for this organization for many years and had no intention of letting a little thing like lack of sleep or a possibly life-threatening disease get in my way.  My more recent responsibilities are of the "paying" variety and also usually allow for some knitting time in between having to record scores for the various events.  It's not hard work.  I could sit there just as easily as I could sit at home.  And "there" came with a paycheck and a free lunch.  You do the math.

Besides, I figured that if I collapsed from all the illness there'd at least be witnesses.  It would be nice to have someone call the ambulance for me, right?

I am often late for this event, though.  Today was no exception.  I probably would have made it almost on time had I not missed the turn to the high school where the Decathlon was being held.  Or if I hadn't thought that I was going through a yellow light when I tried to turn onto a side street to get myself back to where I needed to be.  It was a stupid move.  As the nice police officer who issued my ticket said:

Seriously...I had to go back and look at the video of it before I came to talk to you.  You really didn't see me sitting right there???

No.  I did not.  What can you do in this situation except own your behavior?  This is especially important when you have forgotten to switch out your insurance card for the current one and are busted on many, many levels.  Officer Friendly was good about it, though.  He let me go on the red light issue and explained how I could contest the insurance matter.  He promised he wouldn't fight me on that one as long as the car was insured.  I have decided to look at the whole matter as an adventure.  I've never been to traffic court before!  I'm like a real Bad Girl now!!!

I arrived at the Decathlon, (now very late), and made my way to the scoring area.  There I found my friend Mike poking half-heartedly at a dissembled scanner machine and surrounded by people offering suggestions that even I could tell were overly optimistic.  Long story short, the machine that scans all the test forms had died an unfortunate death.  It was beyond repair.  The replacement machine we brought in was incompatible with our test forms.  This meant that literally hundreds of tests were going to have to be scored by hand.  By two of us.  Within a very short time frame.  

We did it.  There was nothing else to do, really.  We scored tests and input data all day long.  I took a fifteen minute lunch break, Mike took three to scarf down his pizza.  We were behind our normal time for getting the scores out to the coaches, but not as off-schedule as everyone thought we would be.  We caught a few lucky breaks once the nonsense was over with.  And the good news is that when you are scrambling to do by hand what a machine normally does for you, you don't have time to worry about being sick.  See how I found that silver lining?  

But if you are looking for knitting, you'll have to go elsewhere.  Between battling the plague, the long arm of the law and technology gone horribly awry, I have had little time for such pleasant pastimes.  Tomorrow is another day, though.  I will probably still be sick, but I know I won't have to hand-score a thousand test forms.  And I'm reasonably certain I won't have to bat my eyes at the cute, little policeman looming over me through the car window.  At least I hope not...

If you need me, I'll just be here on the couch.  I'm easy to spot.  I'm the one breathing shallowly so as not to hurt my lungs and wearing an I Fought The Law And The Law Won t-shirt.


Friday, February 27, 2009

A Word From My "Murse"

Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty here.  

Mommy wanted me to tell everyone that she is resting comfortably and that she is feeling a little bit better.  I made her get up early and call in sick since she seemed utterly incapable of making this decision on her own.  (She should have just told the school yesterday, but you know how she is about these things...)

We tried to get her a doctor's appointment today, but there were no openings to be had.  We decided to monitor her temperature and head over to the closest Urgent Care Facility if it spiked again.  As of now it is back to normal, although this is probably more due to the Tylenol than her actually getting better.  We have a plan in place for seeing someone with a stethoscope sometime early next week since every time she thinks she is recovering, she suddenly gets sick again.

My sister and I have taken very good care of her today, though.  She has eaten and napped just like we told her she should.  She even went to the store and bought some juice although we can't seem to convince her that it is not so much the buying of the juice as it is the drinking of it that promotes healing.  We'll keep working on that.  Meanwhile, she is at least consuming fluids.  Mountain Dew is a fluid.  At least that is what she keeps telling us.

Frankly, it has been a very trying sort of day here.  Who knew that the nice lady who came to the shelter and took me home was such a whiner?  She seemed so kind and I honestly believed she was a caretaker.  It seems that she is really quite capable of being just a taker.  I have run my poor little pink paws ragged today just keeping her comforted and settled.  

You people might have mentioned to me how needy she is.  I don't think a heads-up on that would have been too much to ask.

For all that, though, she seems to be resting comfortably now and hopefully even heading
towards a nap.  That would be nice.  I maybe sort of slipped a little extra cold medicine into her Mountain Dew a while back.  You would have done the same if you were me and had to listen to someone making little snuffly noises punctuated with the occasional moan all day.  It is draining being a nurse.  I must rest too, you know.

I iz ti-yid.  

AGK (on behalf of SA)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How I Deal With It

I deal with sickness in many ways.  It evokes a plethora of feelings and responses.  However, I can pretty much narrow them down to the following:

 Railing Against An Unjust Universe:

This is where I howl to the heavens and compare my trials to that of Job himself.  There has never before been one so persecuted as I.  I defy anyone to name another person so put upon.  I have been selected from billions of possible targets to suffer that which no one has ever faced before.  I will do this for the merest of sniffles.  It is amusing at first.  Then it gets irritating.  But I can't seem to stop...

Whining Pathetically Until Someone Finally Agrees To Coo At Me:

  Much like an infant, I am capable of great fussing.  Fussing allows me to make it clear to people that I do not feel very well and helps them to clarify their own roles in this process.  I demand nurturing and will make that unpleasing keening sound until someone gets with the program and asks if I need anything.  This is never amusing and only works with people who don't know me very well.  Anyone who has been in my presence for any length of time will have developed a tolerance to this kind of thing.  

The Brave Little Soldier:

Here I am the very definition of a Trouper.  I am a martyr to the ideals of Worker Elves everywhere.  I refuse to give in to the symptoms that are so blatantly obvious to anyone bothering to look at me.  There is a reason why these symptoms are obvious.  I am making certain that they are so.  That way people will see how sickly I am and offer to assist me.  They will often send me home to lie down.  That is the goal.  You wouldn't believe how often I can fool people into thinking that I am really brave.  The downside of this strategy is that you have to work kind of hard while you don't feel very well and I am not capable of this for any length of time.  If no one steps up to the plate to play the game with me, I often find myself in quite the pickle.  I am now at work.  I have resolutely agreed to perform my assigned duties no matter what the universe throws at me.  I am committed to this course of action and my credibility will be shattered if I break down and admit that I really don't have it in me to be a Brave Little Soldier.  I break down a lot on this one.  The best I can hope for is that the witnesses have had no experience with my other techniques and think that they have managed to convince my hard-working self to take it easy.


Have you ever found yourself so sick that you actually scare yourself a little bit?  You start to think that you might be in some trouble here.  You begin to realize that you have made a judgement error of epic proportions and that you should not have let yourself be fooled into thinking you have a cold.  You are really, really sick and maybe a little bit incapable of doing all the things you used to do back when you were healthy.  I've been that sick only twice that I can remember.  It is chilling in its ability to make you realize your own limitations.  You even find yourself calling people to Make Them Aware Of The Situation Just In Case.  If the worst happens, it might be nice if someone noticed you were missing...

I am not at the fourth stage of coping.  But I am starting to see how things could get to that point in the very near future.  Now, before you all start scampering to the comments to tell me I should be at the doctor, please know that I am aware of this fact.  I knew it a while ago and tried to get in for an appointment, but then things got better.  I've felt better for two days.  Markedly better.  Well enough that I believed I was on the mend.

Today was awful.  It reached the point where The Husky Red-Headed Kid Who Reminds Me Of My Cat sat me down to point out that I am sick and have no business being at school, much less trying to teach.  When I told him in no uncertain terms that I was most certainly not sick and that I had no time for this nonsense, he explained how sometimes telling yourself this can offer a bit of a placebo effect.  (I'm paraphrasing....he doesn't know what "placebo" means)  He then told me that I was fooling myself and that I was really, really sick.  He also recognized that I might be thinking I couldn't stay home because he and his classmates don't behave very well when I am not there.  He didn't think this was a very good reason for coming in to work sick, though.

It is a humbling experience to be taken to task by a fourteen year old, much less one who has every reason to not be empathetic.  It tends to make one defensive and less likely to listen to reason.  Who is the grown-up here, anyway????

By the time I staggered out of the building, I felt like every inch of my body was being pummeled by hammers.  I set the heat on 90 and blasted it the whole way home.  I could feel the skin on my legs burning and was even starting to smell cooked Sheepie, but could not bring myself to turn down the heat.  I was shivering so badly that I feared I might drive right off the road.

I checked my temperature when I finally got home (after stopping for a big bottle of Mountain Dew) and discovered that it was now back up to 100 degrees and change.  Within an hour, I was roasting nicely at 102 degrees.

I'm not scared.  Not yet.  Not like I was back when I had The Monkey Pox That Was Really Pneumonia But Monkey Pox Is A More Funnish Kind Of Word.  I think, however, it is safe to say that I am concerned.  I am concerned enough that I put together a few plans for tomorrow and went over them with my teaching assistants in case the fever remains.  I may have been shooting for Brave Little Soldier, but even I know that a fever means trouble for me.  I get them rarely.  They are significant.

I'm not the only one feeling poorly, I think.  When I checked the panda-cam today, I wondered if maybe my panda friend might be feeling a little sick, too.

He's doing my Pathetic Whining bit.  I don't blame him for stealing it.  It's a classic.  I'm willing to share.

Someday, this will become a knitting blog again and not just someplace where you get to come and listen to me rail, whine and be all concerned.  In the meantime, I'll just see if I can't sleep it off tonight and hope that tomorrow leaves me functional.  Or that the doctor has an opening so that I can get some of that sweet, sweet prescription relief.

I am not a Brave Little Soldier.  Not one bit.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Routine Bullets

We are trying desperately to adjust to the "back to school" routine.  For the record, we do not like it.  We have decided that we are much better at being on school vacation than we are at being on the school schedule. 

 We miss our naps.

But it does make things ever so much better for keeping track of the days.  For example, only three people had to remind me that today was Wednesday.  It is good that I caught onto that fact, although I continued to write the date as the 26th.  I told the kids that this was part of the district's new testing policy and that we would be doing random assessments to determine their ability to use calendar skills.  They all laughed at me.  

I do, however, know that it is time for the Wednesday Night Bullet Post.  The routine is really helpful when it comes to the blogging responsibilities.  Let's see where we are tonight:

*I also managed to stick to the workout routine today and hit the weights when I got home.

*I can't knit while I lift weights like I do when I ride the little exercise bike.

*I hate both cardio and strength training.  It's just that cardio is more bearable because of the knitting.

*But it takes longer.

*That sort of balances things out, I suppose.

*One of my students brought me a little present today:

Blurry photo.  I was all shaky from resisting the siren song of the chocolate.

*For those of you wondering, the answer is, "yes."  Your child's teacher can, in fact, be bribed.

*And it is cheaper than you think.

*This particular young man got away with murder today.  He had "chocolate points."

*Every time he did something that was less-than-well-thought-out, I informed him where he stood with his chocolate points.

*They carried him through the entire day and into the after-school Help Block Session.

*This is the good stuff, people...

*I'm not proud of myself.  But I feel it's best to be honest about my lack of character.  

*That way more kids will give me candy.

*I'm not proud of that either...

*Spa Knit and Spin is this weekend.  I am not going.  

*I have a paying gig.  It makes more sense to earn some dollars than to spend them in this economy.  

*Good thing I have free chocolate.  When I added that to the pile of half-priced candy I picked up after Valentine's Day, I was pleased with my stash.

*Not adding to the wool/yarn stash=needing a solid handle on the chocolate stash.

*That's just math, you guys.  Plain 'n simple.

*Anyone want to take bets on whether I'll remember that I have morning bus duty tomorrow? Or that I will remember before it is too late to get to school on time for that little bit of business?

*I've been on schedule all week so far.  That bodes well.

*Or means that it is time for me to utterly fall apart and sleep until 6:00 while the alarm bleats at me for an hour.

*It's hard to tell.  It'll be one or the other...

There you go!  That's today's highlights and bullet points.  Candy and weight training.  We've covered both ends of the spectrum, don't you think?  Hope that your Wednesday came with at least a little bit of the sweet stuff and only as much strength training as you could stand.  Let's all take a moment and appreciate the fact that we are now able to anticipate the weekend without seeming overeager.  

Is it too early to start breaking into the candy stash?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Fun Has Left The Room

Vacation is over and school is back in session.  Let's take a look at what's going on in Ms. Sheep's classroom today.  We can always find examples of studious behavior and devotion to knowledge in that Hallowed Hall Of Learning:

It is 10:00 and Ms. Sheep is rushing back to her classroom after yet another meeting.  She hasn't rushed in a while.  She has been on vacation for a week and had an extra day off due to weather.  She is out of rush practice.  She does not care for rushing.  If she has ever doubted this, she will do so no more.  Rushing is definitely a most unpleasant activity, even when it is very necessary in order that she tell everyone everything she needs to share.  Her intention at the end of this current rush is to speak with one of her teaching assistants.  She rockets through the first room which comprises her teaching space and enters the back classroom just in time to hear one of her new students (The Girl Who Has More Attitude Than One Would Think Possible In Such A Tiny Person) in mid-speech:

"...she is, like, so totally the opposite of fun!  I mean, like, when she comes into a room, she sucks all the fun right out of it!"

There is silence followed by:

"She is standing right behind me, isn't she?"

What can I say?  I am stealthy.  Even when rushing, I have ninja-like stealth goin' on.  TGWHMATOWTPISATP and I are cool, though.  She had the good grace to look  little embarrassed and the self-confidence to see the humor in this sort of situation.  She's a pistol, that one.  I appreciate the "pistols" of our world.  They keep things interesting.

And I do tend to suck the fun out of a room, at least from the teen aged perspective.  Who wouldn't feel like their joy had been vacuumed away when told that it is not a good idea to lock a sixth grader in the bathroom or that the school laptops are not for downloading videos of dogs doing things that the dogs' mommies would be embarrassed to see on the World Wide Web.  I am a killer of all things humorous.  It is what I do.  

And I wear very sensible shoes with very quiet soles.  

With all the rushing and fun sucking, I was rather tired when the day was done.  I'm still battling this Goo-Based Infection From The Very Bowels Of Hell, although I have to admit that things are looking better.  I was able to make it through a full day without too much difficulty and was only told that I looked horrible three times.  That is an improvement.  I even did my time on the little exercise bike (complete with knitting, but it is not a sleeve and don't even try and argue that it is) before calling the day "done."  Still, I anticipate sleeping very well tonight.  I'm tired.  It is only Tuesday and there are still three more days to survive before I can say I made it through my first week back after school vacation.

I need my rest.  There's a whole lotta fun out there waiting to be vanquished.  And I am but one killer of joy.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Needed/Not Needed

There will come a day not long from now when you will feel the urge to remind me of what I said.  You may even feel that it is your solemn responsibility to do so.  You will be one of many who think this is a wise course of action and you may have to wait in line to get virtual face time with me.  But you will probably feel that it is worth it to queue up.

I would ask you to think twice about that course of action.  I will be grumpy and will soon have the time on my hands necessary to start tracking people down.  School will be closed at that point and I will need a hobby.  I'm not threatening.  I'm just saying is all...

I had mixed feelings about today's storm and its potential to keep me at home.  I also had mixed feelings about whether I wanted this to happen.  "Snow Days" are rather nice, but also need to be made up.  Hence, should the superintendent decide to keep us home for the day, there is one more 95 degree afternoon spent in high humidity with sweating teen aged boys in my future.  That is not something to which I look forward.

On the other hand, I really haven't been feeling all that well of late.  You may or may not have heard me mention that.  I know I've been remarkably discreet about the whole matter.  You could easily have missed my having dropped little hints here and there about how I was under the weather.  I'm really quite good about suffering in silence.  

But sickly I have been and I was a tad worried about how I was going to fare today at school.  When the call came at 5:00 this morning and my snow day was confirmed, I was relieved.  And, in spite of maybe doing a bit more than I should have, there was a little extra rest involved in my schedule.  I feel all the better for it.  In fact, today is the best I've felt in two weeks.  I'm still stuffy, but my sinuses are no longer trying to blow out of my face and I have used a mere fraction of the tissues I'd been gooing up.  

After a leisurely breakfast of half-frozen waffles, I dosed myself with some cold medications and set about my day.  I did a bit of laundry.  I finally used up that beef I took out of the freezer days ago in a rather wretched attempt at stew.  (I ate it...but I wept for the cow)   I finished a book.  I explained to The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty for the umpteenth time that his sister does not love him and that he should just stop trying so hard. I suggested that he might learn to accept her tolerance of him and let that be good enough.  I tidied up the kitchen and obediently moved my car for the snow plows even though my stupid neighbor is still stubbornly refusing to move his.  (I am twice his age and sickly.  How it is that I can summon up the will to do this while he cannot is beyond me)  Then I spent some more time explaining the whole "glass half full" thing to the AGK.

Late in the day, I even did some knitting while I rode the little exercise bike for the first time in ages.  I could feel every single piece of that half-priced chocolate jiggling about my mid-section in protest throughout that little activity, let me tell you.

But I did not knit on a sleeve.  That is just part of the "dishcloth."  We are sticking with that story.

It was a good snow day.  I needed it.  I needed it almost as much as I did not need it.  However, I still maintain that it would be a very bad idea to remind me of this come the end of June.  I will need another day off by then and will not be getting one unless some weird snowstorm happens.  Then we will just be going back into the cycle of make-up days and you can see how that could get confusing.  We don't even want to mention the part where it will be The End Of Days since all that snow is falling in what is normally summery-type weather.  Frankly, I'll just be hot, tired and grumpy and in no mood to hear about how I needed this day today.  Even if I really did need it because of that sickness I've hardly been mentioning at all.

I'm going back tomorrow.  I feel a bit better.  I think I have the strength to make it to the Spring Break.  Think good thoughts for smooth days and well-behaved children in my classroom.  It's a long stretch to the next vacation. 

And then we have those make-up days...


Sunday, February 22, 2009

At Least It's Over...

My February School Vacation is over.  And there is a storm coming.  I have a calendar and an innate sense of Working vs. Not Working Time so I'd know about the first thing without any sort of reminders.  The second one requires some external sources of information.  


I'd know there was a storm coming even if my sinuses weren't trying to pound their way out of my skull for most of today in response to the atmospheric pressure changes.  I'd know even if I didn't have several sources of meteorological prognostication at my fingertips such as the Internet or television.

I'd even know if I didn't have a window through which I might observe the darkening skies.  I would know because I have the greatest early warning system anyone can have.

I have cats.

These two beasts I call roommates have been bickering all day.  When they haven't been doing that, they have been bugging me by winding around my legs every time I try to walk, pestering me for treats, offering to "help" when I am on the computer and just being general irritants for hours and hours.  

And you don't even want to know what happened when I tried to knit today.  Poor yarn.  It didn't deserve that...

Don't get me wrong.  They are very cute little irritants.  I do love them dearly.  And they do eventually tucker themselves out with all the capering, hissing, knocking things down and whatnot.  Frankly, I can't help but wonder if they are trying to help me transition back to work tomorrow.  Maybe they think that, by making my every step an adventure in obstacle course maneuvering, I will suddenly decide that it is safer to just go to work.

They may also be sick of having me around.  It's not like I've been utterly delightful this past week.  By my count, I have used somewhere around 240 tissues between last Friday and this exact moment.  I know this because I multiplied the number of tissues in a box by the number of boxes currently in the trash can.  I didn't count the actual tissues.  That would be gross.  And really rather impossible since some of them are still in the car, various pockets and my purse.  Others were discarded during those rare moments I could get out of the house.  It would be crazy to count actual used tissues.

Seriously.  What were you thinking?  Counting used tissues...that's nuts!  Doing math to estimate tissue usage, on the other hand, is perfectly sane and a very natural thing to do when you are stuck inside with throbbing sinuses and unable to get off the couch for fear you will be attacked by an Abusurdly Gi-normous Kitty cleverly disguised as a circus tent.

I broke out one of the Dollar Store Cat Caves a few days ago to replace the one he has shredded.

He likes it.  But he still won't let me toss the raggedy one.  And I'm too weak to argue at this point.

It certainly is possible that they want to help me out the door tomorrow morning by making leaving sound appealing.  However, I think that my starting school again tomorrow might be something of a coin flip at the moment.  There is certainly no doubt that precipitation is in the works, but the models keep changing and the forecasts aren't giving me any real indication.  At present, I figure it's best to program the coffee maker, put out some shoes that match and try to find some non-drowsy decongestants to get me through the day.  At this point in the school year, I have mixed feelings about snow days, truth be told.  We do have to make them up, after all.  And it doesn't help matters that we have a principal who gleefully announces the "new" last day of school each time we miss a day.  

On the other hand, I could use one more day to try and get past this Cold/Flu/Goo/Sinus Infection/Whatever Else Could Possibly Be Going Wrong With My Sickly Self situation.  I finally managed to get the fever down and that will make working with the children possible, but another day of rest wouldn't hurt.  

I think that this vacation will not go down in the annuls of Vacation History as one of my best.  Not the worst, mind you.  Just not one of the winners.  However, time off is time spent not working and there is always something good to be said for that, right?  There were some good moments, several, in fact.  But, had you told me on that first day of freedom that what I thought was a cold would hang on this long, I'd have chuckled in your face.  Politely...but chuckled nevertheless.

You'd not have thanked me for that.  You'd have The Goo, too.

I think that the Genius recommendations over at Itunes were really trying to tell me something when I checked them out on Monday.  Maybe, had I not opted to purchase what they thought I might need in my library, I would have been spared.  Who knows?

What I do know is this:  Sometimes The Ramones had it just, exactly right.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

By Way Of Contrast

I was reflecting upon my vacation week earlier today and couldn't help but remember last year's version of this event.  I knit a pair of socks.  Not "a" sock.  Two of them.  And they were the same which makes them a pair. I also seem to recall doing lots of other stuff.  Some of it may be blown somewhat out of proportion in my mind's eye since I am prone to do that every now and again.  Still, I really do remember that vacation fondly.  I felt like I'd done what I set out to do.

This year's February break has been, shall we say, "a little bit different."  There has been less in the way of doin' stuff and more in the way of laying on the couch.  This was certainly not my intention going in, mind you.  I realize that I sometimes overestimate what I can realistically accomplish in a given time frame, but this is ridiculous.  I will be going back to work on Monday and leaving the manse in even more of a disastrous state than when I staggered in last Friday.  

What started out as The Worst Cold In The Whole Wide World, morphed into The Goo, then took a left turn towards Flu Territory has finally managed to manifest itself into something that is very much bacterial in nature and maybe even something I could get a nice prescription for.  Well...I could get one if I didn't have to go back to work on Monday and no longer had the time for such frivolous activities as obtaining life-saving drugs.  Fortunately, there is a really good clinic at the high school in my district and, assuming I can sweet-talk the children into behaving for more than five minutes at a stretch, I might be able to scoot over there at lunch sometime next week.

I don't care anymore.  I'm just tired of talking about it.  Two weeks is enough.  Besides, I did kind of go to the doctor yesterday.  Of course, I wasn't the actual patient.  I was the chauffeur responsible for transporting my friend to her appointment.  Apparently, if you are in a vehicle that is struck by another vehicle at high speed, you may end up with the front part of your hip somewhere in the vicinity of your hindquarters.  Who knew?  You also can't drive.  Or sit in most chairs.  Or walk.  Or anything else, really.

Ironically, I was the sickest person  in the waiting room who wasn't actually there for medical treatment. That will look good on my resume.  And, were it not for the inch of sock I knit while waiting, I would have very little of a knitted nature to report after my week of vacation.

Plus it was probably good to get out of the house and breathe air not already contaminated by my own lungs.  Not that the circumstances were the best, but it was rather nice to catch up with my friend.  I haven't seen her in a while.  She's pretty much the same except for that cool walker thingie with the basket...

I awoke this morning to find that my fever was under 100 F( 37.78 C) and this pleased me.  It is the last day in the Half-Priced Chocolate Observance and I would have hated to miss that.  (Hey, if Christmas can have 12 days and New Year's gets and "eve" and a "day," then my own personal holiday can last a week if I so decree it...)  I also figured I should take advantage of the good weather.  There's a storm coming in tonight, I hear tell.  If the body temperature was under triple digits and the roads were clear, it made sense to get the shopping done while I could.  

I am a true believer in 50% off chocolate.  For those of you keeping track, this is my third candy run this week.

I guess maybe the whole vacation wasn't a total loss.  I did get to visit with a friend and there is plenty of chocolate in the house in case of an emergency.  It's not the same as knitting a pair of socks or being able to walk the streets without people pointing and gasping in horror.  But it will do.  I'll take what I can get at this point.  

But I'm still hoping for a spontaneous recovery and a full pair of socks to magically leap off the needles before Monday rolls around.   In a world where chocolate can plummet to half price in 24 hours, anything is possible, right?


Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Accept

Some might call it resignation.  I prefer to think of it as a serene sort of acceptance.  Very Zen-like in nature and demonstrating a willingness to embrace what the universe has to offer.  The moment one simply accepts that there are things which cannot be changed is a profound one.  Of course, those moments are rare, but I do get them every now and again.  

My most recent moment of "Okey-dokey" came around 3:00 this morning.  I was doggedly drinking coffee to counteract a long overdue reaction to the antihistamines which had left me with a case of the jittery-legs beyond description.  To help kill the time, I periodically would stick the thermometer in my mouth and watch the little digital display inch ever higher up the Fahrenheit scale.  That was when I got it.  My moment of acceptance.  I do not have The Worst Cold In The Whole Wide World.  I do not have a raging case of The Goo.  

What I have is the flu.  

It is the same flu which struck down several of my teaching colleagues over the last month.  They were all very willing to share the symptoms.  To the last, I can say I have them all.  Frankly it was the fever that tipped me off.  I normally run a pretty low temperature so even a touch of fever is rather easily felt.  With that piece of the puzzle in place, I had everything I needed to begin the process of acceptance.  

This was also a pretty good time to start working on that grudge I now bear against my flu shot.  My flu shot was sleeping on the job.  It let me down.  I normally give full-on love to my flu shot.  This year's version missed the mark by about a mile.  And that would be a Goo-covered mile in case anyone is interested.

There has been no knitting today whatsoever.  In fact, there hasn't been much in the way of anything.  Unless, of course, you count laying on the couch and whimpering.  I've done a lot of that.  But I also managed to make it down to the mailbox to pick up a package since the tracking site indicated that my latest batch of zombie movies might be waiting for me.  They were.  But I've only managed to watch one.  

For the record, watching zombie movies when you are feverish is not a great idea.  It leads to dozing off and thinking that zombies are in your living room.  I'd jot that one down if I were you.  Trust me.  You don't want to forget it.

I accept the current situation, fever-zombies and all.  I'm too tired and sore to do anything else.  I am so full of the acceptance that I forgive Blogger for not uploading the pictures of the Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty with his latest Dollar Store Cat Cave.  My thought was that people might be more likely to overlook my whining if I tossed in a cute cat picture or two.  But, after an hour of trying to upload, I have accepted that this isn't going to happen tonight.

I don't blame Blogger for not wanting to touch anything that is coming out of this place right now.  Just because I am so overflowing with acceptance doesn't mean that everyone should be.  I also happen to be overflowing with The Goo and that is enough to make anyone wary.  Accepting a digital download from this location could result in just about anything at this point.

I'll see you Saturday.  Let's hope that I am less in need of an "accepting attitude" by then...


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gooey Bullet Points

School vacation week?  Yes.  Vast amounts of The Goo still coursing merrily through my sinus cavities?  Yes.  Going all rogue on the blog posting and forgetting my sworn Wednesday duty?


I shall post your Wednesday Night Bullet Points just like it was a regular Wednesday and not one that is all vacation-y and gooey.  Here's what I have for you tonight:

*I think we have heard enough about my cold symptoms.  Let's just say they continue to kick my butt and leave it at that.

*Gooey...very, very gooey.

*I slept in a bit later this morning but was determined to actually dress myself instead of simply lolling about in my pj's.  

*Did that yesterday.

*And most of the day before that...

*I figured it would do me good to try being showered and clad for a change so I got up.  The kitties were happy to see this.

*I guess I also forgot to scoop out the litter box yesterday while I was doing all that lolling.  My bad.

*I had ample time to enjoy my coffee and some cartoons before attempting that shower.  I even knit a few rows on "the dishcloth" (with sleeves).

*Then I had to get my act together because I was meeting my parents at a local eatery for the monthly Family Lunch.

*The retired members of the family get to do this every month.  Those of us who still aspire to retirement only get to go during vacation week.

*Ironically, it is a free lunch for those of us not of retirement age.  It is probably very wrong of me to accept free lunches from my retired parents as they enjoy their Golden Years.

*But, as I pointed out today, they are really just spending my Wedding Money.  If you do the math, I've actually saved them quite a bit by remaining single.

*Stop laughing.  It's an actual Economic Theory.  I just haven't published it yet is all...

*Since there is a storm coming in tonight and with the whole Goo Gone Wild In My Sinuses thing going on, I figured I should run a few errands while weather and circumstances permitted.

*Valentine's Day candy remains at half price for those of you who are interested.  The pickings are getting slim, but it's still out there if you look.  

*And are willing to fight to the death with senior citizens who don't understand my whole Single People Cost Less So We Should Get More Free/Cheap Food theory.  

*I scored a couple of bags of Hershey's Kisses in rather odd flavors.  But, as I said, this stuff is half price right now!

Itty-bitty fondue pots with melting chocolate are 75% off which is even better that 50% off and don't even ask me about the fate of that lady who was standing in my way and wouldn't move.  She asked for it and that's all I'll say on the matter...

*This is just the sort of thing I might like to have in my End Of The World Is Nigh supply cupboard.

*Laugh all you want.  The next time I have to deal with a power outage, I'll be eating warm fondue while everyone else is crying because they didn't see the possibilities at the clearance table.

*I need therapy...

*I met the family for lunch right on time.

*Which is good since I had all those other shoppers who wanted my discount candy to deal with.  That took some time and maneuvering.

*Lunch was yummy.  And, because my ears are all blocked up, I fit right in with some of the retired folk.  

*There was a great deal of repeating of stuff.  And lots of nodding while we all pretended that we could hear what people were saying after we'd already asked them to repeat it and didn't dare to ask again.

*Actually, that was mostly me.  Whatever...

*It was nice to catch up with family members I haven't seen since Baby Brother Sheep's wedding.  

*Before we left, Mommy Sheep surprised me with a take-out order of sliders so I wouldn't have to cook tonight.  Just reheat and eat!

Sliders are min-burgers for those of you whose palates are not as sophisti-ma-cated as mine.

*The trick is to reheat the patties separately from the buns.  

*Any free dinner is a good one.

*Sliders from Mommy Sheep are even better.  And no.  You cannot be adopted by her.  Many have asked.  None have succeeded.  

I think I did well today.  I got out of bed and got dressed.  That's better than I've done in several days.  Plus I ran errands and got an emergency fondue pot which was very, very responsible.  If you factor in the free lunch and dinner, I'd call it a Win-Win Wednesday!

I think even The Goo had a nice time getting out of the house for a change...


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Goo Is Sticky Stuff

Anyone else who has a tendency to pick up respiratory infections will understand me completely when I say that the worst of the cold is not over with the worst of it.  Once the sneezing is done and the nose stops running, I actually feel quite a bit better.  It should be done.

But that is not always the way these things go.  More often than not, the cold leaves behind a great deal of congestion and that is where things stand tonight.  The Goo has infiltrated my sinuses and every time I blow my nose there is an alarming squeal in my right ear, sometimes followed by a pop that makes me wince every time.  Some of The Goo has gotten adventurous and traveled to parts south where it is rattling around my lungs as it tours the countryside.  A little bit of The Goo was convinced to exit the premises once faced with a sternly worded notice of eviction.  But most of it just laughed, rattled and popped before going back about the business of being Goo.

This doesn't necessarily mean that I am heading for a sinus infection, nor does it automatically indicate bronchitis.  But I've certainly had my share of experience with The Goo and I know the paths it can take.  Even though I had plans to head south for Chicks With Sticks and some communal knitting, I knew it was probably not a good idea.  The only defense against Goo Gone Wild is rest.  I always feel so faint of heart when I opt to take it easy, but I clearly recall the last time I said to myself, "Oh, don't be silly...I'm sure it will all be fine.  I'll just take some NyQuil and carry on.  How bad can a cold possibly get, after all?"

I ended up with pneumonia was sick for a month.  Not going there again.

So here I am at home instead of going to Knit Night.  I'm as OK with being at home as I am with going out.  I'm just a little bit bummed since I won't have the chance to head down that way until April unless I quit my job.  Which I'd do in a heartbeat if they'd pay me to sit at home until Tuesday night's knitting group.  I should look into that...

There are good things about hearth and home, I suppose.  The kitties are never all that thrilled to see me heading towards the door.  They are always pretty clear about their feelings on the matter of my social life and will use a variety of strategies to keep me on the couch.  The Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty decided to fake a cold.  That makes perfect sense since he's had quite the role model for cold symptoms around here lately.

Yook!  I can haz Goo jus' yike Mummy!

The Big, Fluffy Kitty simply resorted to her, "And just where do you think you're going, young lady?" look.  

Which is fairly impressive.  And a little intimidating, if you want the truth...

The "dishcloth" was also kind of happy that I made the choice to stay in.  Once it got used to being sneezed on forty six times per night, it didn't mind at all.  

And it's even going to get a sleeve if all goes well!  If things go amazingly well, it might get two!

A night at home is not so bad, I guess.  Even if I'm stuck here in a wad of Goo.  There's the knitting and the kitties, not to mention the hope that I will get past this Goo-Fest.  I have one or two obligations coming up and need to be healthy for those.  Staying home was the responsible thing to do, even if it meant giving up something to which I've been looking forward for weeks.  I feel like the better person for having done the right thing.

That doesn't mean that I didn't make brownies, though.  I'm not made of stone.  I may be responsible and all...

But I'm not immune to the need for comfort food when stuck with The Goo


Monday, February 16, 2009

Hope And Goo Spring Eternal

I am pleased to report that The Worst Cold In The Whole Wide World has decided to withdraw the troops.  Yes, the initial assault is over.  I hate the first wave.  It is the part where the generals decided to carpet bomb the target with histamines and all they can do is itch and sneeze.

Of course, this tactical retreat is nothing more than a means for getting the enemy to relax a bit.  Once the sneezing is done, the second assault begins and that involves the packing of the chest and sinuses with goo.  The hope here is that the victim will just surrender before the shock and awe of being surrounded by mountains of used tissues becomes completely overwhelming.  Or they are so unnerved by the sound of their own slurpy breathing that they go utterly mad.

But you don't need to hear about that.  That is not the sort of thing that one discusses in polite company.  You can just use your imagination should you really want that mental picture on a Monday...

This all might be enough to make the average person sink into despair and the endless viewing of infomercials.  I, however, am made of sterner stuff.  I am on vacation and will not be brought to my knees by a little excess goo in my noggin. least not until around 2:00.  Then I'll have to take a nap, but I'd be doing that anyway.  That is just part of the routine during school vacation week and has nothing whatsoever to do with the effects of OTC cold medications.

OK.  It did maybe have a little to do with the purple medicine.  But I maintain that napping would have occurred no matter what.

Yup.  I'm a trouper.  I doggedly went about my vacationing as if there weren't a tissue stuck in every pocket and one stashed up my sleeve because that is just how I roll.  I broke out the swift and finally wound up some more of that yarn for "the dishcloth" (with sleeves) because I remain ever-hopeful that there will be enough of the stuff to finish the project.  I transferred the gi-normous pile of dirty dishes from the sink to the dishwasher and pushed the "go" button because I remain ever-hopeful that I will one day remember to take the clean dishes out and make room for the dirty ones before they form a gi-normous pile.  I fired up the vacuum cleaner and dragged it around the carpet for a while because I remain ever-hopeful that someday the vacuuming will "take" and I won't have to ever do it again.

I also took a break to watch the PandaCam because I remain ever-hopeful that, one day, a panda will wave back at me:

They never do, though.  In fact, I think that the panda was looking a little peaked today.  Maybe he has a cold, too...

More importantly, I returned to the grocery store because I was ever-hopeful that they had managed to put together their clearance table for Half-Priced Chocolate Day The Second.  It doesn't always pay to be ever-hopeful.  More often than not, you run out of yarn, the gi-normous pile of dirty dishes in the sink topples over onto the kitchen floor and the carpets do not start spontaneously rejecting cat hair.  You even have to start your vacation with a cold sometimes and that hardly seems fair at all!

Other times, though, you are rewarded for your optimism:

And half-priced candy appears on the clearance table just like it is supposed to!

It is only the first day of vacation, but I do think it went well.  And who knows?  Maybe the military geniuses behind The Worst Cold In The Whole Wide World will give up and let me enjoy the majority of it goo-free.  If not, at least I got some leftover Valentines candy on the cheap, right?  

I can always hope...


Sunday, February 15, 2009

The True Meaning Of The Day

Happy Half-Priced Chocolate Day, everyone!!!  I was rather surprised to see how many people were not familiar with this holiday.  Shocked, really.  How could so many of you be unaware of this most sacred of days?  You must have been really busy and missed the announcement...

It is one of my favorite days, even more so than November the 1st.  On that day you only get half priced kid candy, which is good but so totally not the same.  I get very excited about February 15th and all it symbolizes.  The ancient texts are a little hard to read, but they go something like this:

For lo it is written that, come the rising of the sun the day after that weird little naked baby creature crawls back from whence he came, purveyors of foodstuffs will gather up their red and pink boxes.  Yea verily, they shall collect and deposit them haphazardly upon shelves in the back under hastily hand-scribbled signs.  And thus, they who are wise and burdened with loose change shall know of this sign and flock unto it.   For it is 50% off and it is good.

Yup.  It's a great holiday.  It is steeped in all sorts of tradition and ceremony and stuff.  But, make no mistake, it is the single gal's day.  Don't get me wrong.  Anyone is welcome to acknowledge the holiday and help themselves to a big ol' heart-shaped box of bargain chocolate.  Heck, I've gone to my share of Hanuka parties and even celebrated Kwanza a time or two.  You don't have to be a member to enjoy and appreciate, after all.  

But it is our day.  

Don't get mad.  I didn't make the rules.  The fact of the matter is that we, the single folk, are a little tired right now.  We've just staggered through the Couples Holiday Trifecta.  We've managed to make it past Christmas, New Year's Eve and Valentines Day and we have smiled throughout.  Even those of us who are single by choice have pretty much hit the wall with all the "Now you just bring your sad self over to our house for (insert holiday here) because we cannot bear the thought of you being all alone."  We've explained three thousand times that we have plans and that they do not involve dressing up the cat.  We have successfully managed to dodge any number of well-intentioned holiday fix-ups, none of which were as subtle as the perpetrators think they were.  And while I may be on vacation, some of my sisters will be going to work on Monday.  There, they will be forced hear endless stories of Valentine's Days gone horribly wrong or, worse, those that were incredibly successful and which come with the flashing of diamonds or (God help us) "saucy" details.

We need the chocolate.  We are not greedy.  We don't want it all.  We invite everyone to celebrate Half-Priced Chocolate Day.  As long as you remember why it came to be and who gets to pick over the clearance table first.

Of course, I failed in my chocolate mission today.  I was over-eager and got to the store before they'd set up the display.  Rather than risk purchasing candy that had yet to be marked as "discounted" in the computers, I opted to wait a bit.  That is perfectly acceptable on Half-Priced Chocolate Day.  In fact, it can be better.  The holiday is actually several days long, sometimes even a week in duration.  And, with each passing day, the prices may get lower.  Half-Priced Chocolate Day is a very accommodating kind of celebration.  Which is good because, as I may have mentioned, the single girls are tired these days.

And, for the record, I also had a wedding at the beginning of The Trifecta.  I get double points for that.  Triple points for being a bridesmaid and being bodily forced onto the floor for the bouquet toss by my cousin who, as a fellow single person, is going to lose points for that since he should be on my side.  

So...while I wait for the merchants to get their collective acts together, I shall knit.  I still haven't mustered up the energy to wind any more yarn for "the dischcloth" (with sleeves) so the new sock got some game time today.  The Big, Fluffy Kitty, concerned that I might be suffering from low blood sugar, stayed close by to oversee my work.

She looks like she is asleep but that is just a ruse.  She's very much on the job.

I know because she told me that I could have knit more had I spent less time thinking about chocolate.

Tomorrow we shall head out again and see how the clearance tables are looking.  I anticipate good hunting and lots of things drizzled in caramel.  

I do love the holidays...


Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Spectrum

Friday brought with it a series of highs and lows.  When one has The Worst Cold In The Whole Wide World, one tends to be a little more prone to drama, I find.  Or maybe that's just me.  At any rate, I noticed that the human mind is capable of swinging to polar opposites rather quickly, even over the smallest of things.  For example:

You Are Happy When:

You leave school on Thursday knowing that you will not be returning to your classroom on Friday.  A movie has been left for the kids and the teaching assistants have been told to do what they have to do to make their lives easier.  

You Are Sad When:

You finally accept the fact that your cold is not going to let you free of its iron grip in time for you to teach Friday's Safety Procedures course without having to first secret fifty thousand tissues upon your person.  You will be the instructor with whom no one is going to want to practice bite release techniques.  

You Are Happy When:

The course you are teaching cruises along at warp speed and the final test is being administered at noon.  This means an early end to the day.

You Are Sad When:

Fifty thousand tissues are not enough to get you through a half-day of teaching.

You Are Happy When:

You leave the high school well before dismissal time. You don't mind the fact that you are scattering a trail of used tissues in your wake.  You are too focused on the fact that you will be home in time to enjoy a late lunch that does not involve eating with students who couldn't be trusted to dine in the cafeteria with their peers.

You Are Sad When:

You contemplate having to actually prepare that leisurely lunch at home.  You very much wish that you had remembered to bring along the Panera gift certificate that Mommy and Daddy Sheep sent you this week.

You Are Happy When:

You suddenly realize that you most certainly did put that gift card in your purse!  Free lunch!!  That is a whole lot of happy!

You Are Sad When:

You arrive at the place where you thought the restaurant was located and find naught but an abandoned building.  You are even sadder when you realize that you must now somehow navigate your way through the maze of roadways which encircle the shopping center to get back on the main road.

You Are Happy When:

You take a wrong turn and find yourself in the parking lot right in front of the restaurant you were seeking!  

From there, it was pretty much all Happy.  I was so happy that I was able to hold my head up high, show my bright red nose for all the world to see and announce that I would, by-God, like a bag of chips with my sandwich and that they could keep their foolish apple, thankyouverymuch!  I even tossed one of those gigantic cookies into the order and defy anyone to comment upon how a more responsible person might forgo such a high calorie treat.

I'm eating for two now.  The Worst Cold In The Whole Wide World is hungry, as well.  And it didn't want that apple any more than I did.

So here we are.  It is now the weekend, there is a sock-in-progress which has been very good to me and the "dishcloth" (with sleeves) seems more than happy to be set aside for the time being.  The Cold still rages, but I am simply using it as an excuse to nap so that all works out.  It is also something of a long weekend.  Nine days of weekend, if you want the truth.  It is officially February vacation and I am done with work-stuff!  

Even better, it is Chocolate Eve!  The second-most sacred day of the year!  The most sacred day is, of course, tomorrow when all that candy hits the clearance table.  I may not sleep a wink tonight for all the giddy anticipation!!!

Of course, some of you insist on naming today as the actual holiday.  I believe in tolerance and that it is our differences which make up the rich tapestry of the human condition.  I don't pretend to understand your strange ways, but I find them somewhat exotic.  In fact, one of my roommates is one who celebrates the 14th.  He's a big fan, actually.  

I can haz Valli-time Kizz?



Friday, February 13, 2009

Time On My Hands

Midlife Blog Crisis In Progress.  Instead of a sports car and hair plugs, there are template changes and new colors.  Be patient with me while I work through my "boring old blog" issues.  

Spicing things up is always so much better than simply divorcing your blog and finding a younger one.  You always seem to end up spending money on Trophy Blogs to keep them happy and home on the weekends...


Thursday, February 12, 2009


OK.  Let's see where we are with all this:

Nose so red and bright that even complete strangers see fit to comment upon it?


Every single pocket filled with either fresh or partially used tissues?


Just sneezed up something that may or may not be sentient and which probably will demand that I send it to community college in eighteen years?


Become bleary and weary enough to actually share with the school psychological examiner my theory on the correlation between sneezing and peeing in middle aged women?


Well, it certainly seems that I am good to go with the cold symptoms.  I could probably have lived the rest of my life without ever having to catalogue those again.  On the other hand, there are one or two items that were checked off the list today of a more positive nature.  

I managed to pick up a movie for the kids tomorrow so that they will be handily distracted from the fact that they are still in school on the Friday before vacation.  I set aside one or two miserable worksheets for those kids who still choose to make trouble on a day when they could just sit and watch a movie if they made more of an effort to not get caught.  I checked in with everyone who might miss me while I am out of the classroom for the day and made sure they knew that I'd just be over at the high school teaching the Safety Procedures class.  

I also made certain that they knew to not call me there because I wouldn't much care what was going on in my absence.  There isn't anything I can do about it from all the way over at the high school anyway.  They'll just have to deal with it.  

I didn't manage to finish up my insurance billing forms, though.  But since I am already backlogged six months on that little task, it would have been foolish for anyone to expect me to come through.  I find cockeyed optimists to be somewhat tiresome, don't you?

The only thing left for me to do is to pack up the sock-in-progress so I'll have it for those moments when the Safety Procedures class gets dull.  We have already covered most of the material and part of the class involves a written test.  I get to sit there and pretend that I am proctoring while that's going on and what Fake Proctor doesn't look more official with some knitting in hand?  

After that, it's all over.  Sheepie will be on vacation.  The kid part is done and now I just have to spend a day teaching adults who are just as invested in getting the heck out of there as I am.  I think I can manage that, cold or no cold.  If you need me, I'll be here on my couch.  I'm easy to find.  Just follow the Whoo-Hoo sounds.

Failing that, you can use the light from my bright red nose as a beacon...


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WNBP With A Side Of Antibacterial Handsoap

The histamine reactions kick in with regularity over here.  Sometimes I feel almost human.  Then I start sneezing and it all just goes downhill.  My eyes swelled up about half an hour ago thanks to a particularly nasty flare up of this thing so innocently dubbed, "The Common Cold."  I tell you, if it weren't time for The Wednesday Night Bullet Post, I fear I would not be able to proceed.  There is no way I could produce a coherent paragraph.

But it is Wednesday.  So I don't have to.  I'll just stuff a tissue up my ever-dripping right nostril and go for the highlights.  And yes.  I meant for that visual to hit you right between the eyes.  I am miserable and see no need for anyone else to be happy at this point...

*That's not true.  I don't want you to be miserable.  Now I feel badly.  Just stop thinking about me with a tissue up my nose.  I didn't mean that...

*My entire teaching day was punctuated with very mature phrases.  I really do think I rose above my infirmity and took the high road.

*During Math Class:  "You guys all hate me, don't you?  You planned this.  You all sat around for days and days plotting against me with your germ warfare tactics.  You are evil, vicious little teenagers!"

*During Language Arts Class:  "The world does TOO revolve around me!  I am sick!  So it revolves around me even more than it did before!!!"

*During Science Class:  Oh, great!  Now I have a nosebleed!  Way to go, you little plague-carriers!  You aren't satisfied with infecting me.  Now you want me to bleed to death right here in the middle of the classroom!"

*Still During Science Class:  "I am so totally NOT being overly dramatic!"

*Not my most witty banter today.  

*Actually, that prize goes to the kid who said, "You know, for a therapist, you sure do seem to need some counseling..."

*In point of fact, I am not a therapist.  I opted to not do the clinical portion of my degree.  

*I did not tell him this, though.  

*Too busy being horrified by his insight.

*I need to wind another skein of yarn before I can continue with "the dishcloth" (with sleeves).  
*I can't seem to bring myself to do that.  I am too busy sneezing and informing the entire world of their responsibilities regarding my attentional needs.

*Plus I can't open my eyes right now.  

*Maybe I'll work on the sock...

*We had an outside entity come in and do achievement testing with random 8th graders today to assess student progress.

*This is important and the results will determine our school's overall performance rating.

*I spoke with at least 5 kids who informed me that they thought the test was stupid and that they just colored in bubbles.

*I pulled the tissue from my right nostril long enough to tell them that they might want to remember this conversation the next time the legislature was debating extending the school year due to low test scores.

*When you are sick, you should wash your hands.  You should do this a lot.

*But I can't use my bathroom sink.

The drain seems to be blocked.

I'll give it some time to clear itself and then I'm getting the plunger.  

I gotta go.  I need a new tissue.  I should probably also check the sink and see if I am allowed to use it yet.  I haven't washed my hands in a while and have probably left germy ookiness all over the manse.  Hope that your Wednesday has treated you well and that you have spent less time trying to breathe freely or pry your eyeballs open than I.  

And we are also hoping that the next post finds your faithful Sheep a little less on the whiny side...